October 21, 2008

Lau Moog (Bottlegourd with Moong Dal)


The last few months have been rediscovering the recipes I grew up eating but were pushed back to the memories folder after coming to the US. Since I never cooked in India, I got the recipes in phone calls when I really, really was craving something. But with my mom here, I have been learning how to cook and also blogging about them so that I have the recipes together for the next time she visits and I can cook it for her.

Lau moog is a simple recipe mildly flavored with panch phoron and chillies. The roasted moong dal is cooked with bottlegourd but retains its individual graininess. This dish is comfort food and I ate it during the summer when this light dal would cool us off. Eating it here in the Fall sunlight makes me relish it even more. The fresh cilantro gives it a zing and mixed with hot rice, I can make it an entire meal.

3/4 cup of moog (moong) dal
1 small lau (chopped in small pieces) or about 1 1/2 cups
1/2 tspoon turmeric powder
1/2 tspoon grated ginger
1/2 tspoon cumin seed powder
2 green chillies
1 dry red chilli
pinch of asafoetida
1 tspoon panch phoron
1/2 tspoon sugar
salt to taste
1 tspoon ghee
small bunch cilantro - chopped
In a thick-bottomed pan, roast the moong dry till you get it get that aroma and
the dal starts turning reddish brown. Remove and set it aside.

Then peel the lau and cut it into small pieces. My mom calls it ghonto style.
Since the lau will also release water, you will need to add less water for the dal.

In a saucepan, add some water and boil the moong with grated ginger,
turmeric powder and salt. When the moong is about half cooked, add
the chopped lau, cumin seed powder and sugar. Also add 2 slit green chilies.
Cook it with closed lid on medium heat and stir it every 4-5 minutes so that it
does not get stuck at the bottom.

Alternately, you can also pressure cook the moong dal and lau with the masala for
1 whistle and then finish it off on an open saucepan. In terms of the consistency,
you should be able to see the dal grains and the lau pieces should be soft but
not completely mushy.

Heat the ghee and temper it with panch phoron, 1 red chilli, and asafoetida. Add it to the dal and mix it well together.


Garnish it with cilantro and serve warm with rice.

This is going to Sra at When My Soup Came Alive who is hosting
My Legume Love Affair: Fourth Helping. It was started by Susan of
The Well Seasoned Cook.


On another note, here is a picture of the last few veggies from my garden. We fried the zucchini flowers and used the pepper, lettuce and tomato for a delicious fish recipe.


  1. mandira,
    aamra kaal ke Lao dal khelam.
    Lao Dal with Grated Ginger and Ghee looks so delicious.Its really a comfort food.
    hugs and smiles

  2. ummm how comforting is this. i love mum's food! enjoy!

  3. The colours in this post are gorgeous!
    I saw a similar recipe in an Oriya cookbook last week and brought bottlegourd home in my weekly shopping. This will be made soon.
    Thanks for the entry!

  4. Ekta lau acche .. ei bhabei banabo :-) Ektu bori add korle kemon hoye? Zucchini flowers kumro phuler moto dekhacche .. I'd do anything .. steal / kill ... to get hold of a kumro phul :-(

  5. Here we don't get this vegetable and i love them. When i was still living at home she used to make a gravy dish with this and dal and i used to love it.
    This looks yumm. I have neve rtried to use panch phoran, should use them and see how the taste is

  6. This looks extremely divine. Mom's recipes are always gr8.

  7. This sounds so simple, creamy & good.

  8. It's a new recipe to me...looks great...

  9. dal looks yummy and comforting mandhira

  10. how easily we take simple foods like this for granted and then realise these are the ones which comforts us the most. it looks absolutely delicious mandira.

  11. This looks like perfect comfort food...

  12. Thanks for your lovely comments on my blog. This is my first time here. I love your recipes. Will try out some soon.

  13. WOW mandhira..first time here ur blog is cute n lovely collections of awesome recipes...

    Thanks for visiting my blog..would love to see u there often..

    pls collect hardblogger award from my blog .. u deserve it...


  14. Bottlegourd with Moong is a very good combo...i normally make it with the chana dal. A comfort food.

  15. Hi Mandira,
    The dhal looks tasty? I have never used bottlegourds in dhal, wil definitely try it :)

  16. Hi

    I heard the "ghonto" after a long time. I make lau moong sometimes at home. also went thru some of your bengali recipes. felt good and brought back childhood memories. These are all comfort food for me, I cook them not too often now.

  17. Happy Diwali Mandira!

  18. Happy Diwali Mandira! Reminds me of when my mom comes to London to visit and I trial all the old, popular recipes from back home.

  19. Jaya, Meeta, Sra, Sia, Soma, Mallika - Thanks. you are so right, it is a comfort food and I can't get enough.

    Sharmila Zucchi phool ta kumro phooler moton khete. Tumi bori diye try korte paro. Bolo kemon hoyeche :)

    Happy Cook- Panch phorn gives this a mild and floral flavor. Makes any dish great :)

    Laavanya, Kitchen Flavors,Daily Meals, Sagari, Usha, Aparna, Priya, Nidhi, Gita - Thanks, Do try and let me know how it turns out.


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